Missouri workers who have experienced retaliation in the workplace for their whistleblower activities have legal protections available to them.
When an employee reports wrongdoing in the workplace, this can open him or her up to retaliatory acts by employers, supervisors and co-workers. Depending on the nature of the whistleblowing complaint, there may be protection provided to the whistleblowing employee under one or more provisions. A Missouri employment law attorney can advise whistleblowing employees of the protections that are available to them.
Determining what is protected whistleblower activity can be complicated. Generally speaking, employees are protected for reporting, stopping and testifying about actions by their employer that are unhealthy, illegal or in violation of public policies.
Whistleblowing cases typically have short statutes of limitations, and failing to abide by them is a common defense that prevents any type of financial recovery for whistleblowing workers.
There are certain basic elements that make up the bulk of whistleblowing cases. They are:
— Whistleblowers are either employees or people otherwise covered under whistleblowing statutes
— Defendants are employers or fall unto specific statutory categories
— Plaintiffs engaged in whistleblowing activities that are protected
— Defendant had knowledge of the plaintiff’s activity
— Retaliation occurred and was motivated by the whistleblowing activity
— Plaintiff’s employment was terminated or otherwise adversely affected due to whistleblowing actions
— Plaintiff is able to show that there would otherwise be no adverse employment actions had there been no whistleblowing activity
Establishing a discriminatory discharge can be difficult but is not impossible. A skilled attorney can provide the court with the whistleblower employee’s previously satisfactory employment records and demonstrate how he or she was unfairly singled out for retaliation due to the whistleblowing activity.
In some cases, federal whistleblowing laws may trump state laws that provide remedies to employees. It may also be possible to pursue action on separate state and federal levels. Due to the complexity of these matters and the importance of timely filings, it is best to work closely with your attorney for best results.